Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Blu-ray Review

Release Date: December 3rd, 2010
Disc Size: 45.4 GB
Film Size: 31.6 GB
Film Rating: PG-13
Region: A
The Video
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’ releases on Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. This version includes a DVD copy of the film, which made for a great comparison. As expected, the Blu-ray release is a massive improvement from the DVD which is presented on a DVD-9.

Detail while a bit soft at times can be very impressive. There are plenty of scenes in which very wrinkle and texture comes through clear as can be. The improvement in clarity found on the Blu-ray release is very easy to appreciate when you realize how unsatisfying the film looks on DVD.

I liked the film’s colors, which appear intentionally subdued, but nowhere as cold looking as ‘Twilight.’ The colder looking sequences are reserved only for the actual cold and snowy scenes, which are towards the end of the film. Black levels are inky and strong throughout.

While I wasn’t always dazzled by the high-def presentation, this is definitely an improvement. The transfer itself didn’t feature any actual technical issues; I guess it just depends on how much you love the look of the film itself. I liked the look of the film and I think the Blu-ray presentation presents the look accurately. 8/10.

The Audio
Summit Entertainment has included an English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track as the lossless option. Also included is a Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track. Optional subtitles include English SDH and Spanish.

The audio mix is definitely strong on this release, a massive improvement from the mix found on ‘Twilight.’ For those that do not remember, the audio mix for ‘Twilight’ was incredibly front heavy and actually brought down certain sequences in the film because it was so underwhelming with surround use.

The mix included on this release is thankfully excellent, providing an immersive and exciting audio experience that will please viewers of all ages. Dialogue is presented front and center, crisp and clear as it should be.

The film’s surround use is constantly present, used for both effects and the film’s music. The surround use moments can be quite impressive, although they are just a bit short of reference. Overall I was more than pleased by the track included and I think most viewers will be as well. 9/10.

The Extras

Side A (Blu-ray Disc):

Audio Commentary
With Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson.

Audio Commentary
With Stephenie Meyer and Wyck Godfrey.

The Making of “Eclipse” 6-Part Documentary (HD)
  • Part 1: Introducing David Slade (4:35)
  • Part 2: Pre-Production: Setting the Stage (12:28)
  • Part 3: The Heart of Eclipse (14:27)
  • Part 4: The Dark Side of Eclipse (8:57)
  • Part 5: Lights, Camera, Action (24:31)
  • Part 6: Post-Production: Leaps in Technology (23:09)
The Making of “Eclipse” 6-Part Documentary (Picture-in-Picture version)
The same behind-the-scenes footage listed above is included via a picture-in-picture mode that will appear on the lower right of your screen throughout the film.

Deleted Scenes and Extended Scenes (12:34) (HD)
Include optional commentary by Director David Slade. Two deleted scenes and six extended scenes are included in high-definition.

Jump To… (HD)
This feature lets you watch just the scenes you love over and over again, included are:
  • Edward
  • Jacob
  • The Love Triangle
  • The Cullens
  • The Wolfpack
  • The Humans
  • Victoria’s Army
  • Action Sequences
Photo Gallery (Images)
View production images and stills from The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. You can view in full frame mode, slideshow mode, or by selecting a specific image thumbnail.

Music Videos (8:40) (SD)
  • “Neutron Star Collision” by Muse
  • “Eclipse (All Yours)” by Metric
Bookmark your favorite scenes and return to them later via scene selections.

BD-Live (Internet connection required)
Connect to the Summit Entertainment BD-Live portal to access new special features and trailers. At the time of writing, special features are “coming soon” while plenty of Summit Entertainment trailers are readily available for HD and SD download.

Side B (DVD):

DVD version of the film
Summit Entertainment has chosen to release ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’ in both a movie-only edition Blu-ray release as well as a special edition combo pack release. The combo pack is like previous combo releases from Summit Entertainment and is basically a flipper disc.

I had no issue with playback watching the Blu-ray release on two different Blu-ray players over the weekend. The DVD copy of the film includes two audio commentary tracks (found on the Blu-ray side as well).

PLEASE NOTE: the movie-only Blu-ray release of Eclipse is as the title suggests, movie-only…so if you want these features you will have to buy this combo pack edition reviewed here.

I am very pleased by the high quality of the extras included. I love that Summit Entertainment included the documentary with two viewing options; personally I enjoyed watching it as a standalone HD version compared to the Picture-in-Picture track.

There is plenty of behind-the-scenes footage to see and the audio commentaries were enjoyable from what I previewed of them. The ‘Jump To’ feature is pretty pointless to me, but I guess some die-hard fans will appreciate the feature to satisfy their needs. 8/10.

The Movie
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’ is the third film in a series of films based on the extremely popular series of novels from author Stephenie Meyer. If you haven’t heard of ‘Twilight’ series then you are likely living under a rock, but many critics would likely consider you lucky.

I have never read the novels, nor have I ever been intrigued enough to take the time. My relationship with the film adaptations has definitely been interesting, receiving a fairly mixed reception from myself and even worse reception from actual critics.

After spending the weekend with ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’ I have to say I actually enjoyed it. The film is not a masterpiece whatsoever, there were a couple of moments that made me cringe just a little, but overall I was not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did.

I thought the film is fairly boring during the first 30 minutes, but fortunately it does not stay that way. My issue with the first two films aside from the melodrama and mediocre acting was the pacing. I remember checking the time constantly throughout the first two films, but not this time.
Kristen Stewart has definitely improved her acting skills since the last film; her personality which makes an appearance in all her films is improved and makes it a far more enjoyable experience. While I hated Kristen Stewart in the past, I am starting to like her just a little.

Robert Pattinson is a great actor who doesn’t always have the best material to work with, but he does provide a great performance that Is fortunately taken down a notch due to some cheesy dialogue throughout. I am still not convinced about Taylor Lautner, but I did find it funny how many shirtless scenes he had in the film, ‘Vampires Suck’ was right in that regard (Which is an awful film).

The special effects and makeup are also greatly improved from the first film, especially the makeup. The terrible makeup efforts from the first film (the vampires whitening in particular) are no longer an issue in ‘Eclipse’ and the special effects are quite impressive as well.

Overall I thought ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’ was the most well-balanced of the three films released so far and while I didn’t love the movie, I definitely found it entertaining. I am sure many will disagree strongly with me, but if I like something I am not going to lie about it. 7/10.

The Blu-news Summary
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’ is a surprisingly enjoyable film with a great Blu-ray combo pack release. The video and audio are strong as are the extras. Overall the Blu-ray release is ‘Highly Recommended’ to fans and definitely ‘Worth a Look’ to all others.

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